It hit Mark Hollis on a rainy Saturday last October. Michigan State's innovative AD couldn't quite figure out why there were so many empty seats at Spartan Stadium. Despite the weather, this was a Big Ten rival -- Iowa. The day was sacred, one of only six home football Saturdays –- the opener against Boise State was on a Friday -- the beloved Spartans could be seen.
The crowd of 70,000 was the smallest of the season.
"What can't you do in the rain?" Hollis asked himself. "Text. So they stay inside."
They being students who grow up to be the alums who form the foundation of any school's future financial base. And if they aren't going to games when they're in school because of smartphone issues, what does that bode for the future?